Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse feels like one of those rare, perfect films. Not only is the action intense and the frenzied animation entrancing, but the characters are also lovable, goofy, hilarious, and quick-witted. It’s a lengthy movie that feels much shorter than its actual runtime, thanks to its fast pace. Everyone loves it. We’re getting another installment in the series soon, to wrap up that huge cliffhanger. The world is on team Spider-Verse.
Which also means the world has a new fixation. Since we’ve all seen the film—and if you haven’t, stop reading and book yourself a ticket—we all have our own favorite moments: Some folks feel empowered by their reading of Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) being trans. The blue, pink, and white colors of her costume—which are the same as the trans flag—match perfectly. Others love the Easter eggs referencing Miles’ (Shameik Moore) spider-upbringing in the first film. And who doesn’t love Hobie Brown, aka Spider-Punk (Daniel Kaluuya)?
But there’s one subsection of the internet that’s growing louder each day, focused on one particular aspect. No, these folks don’t care about any of the main characters. Instead, they’re obsessed with Miles Morales’ mother, Rio (Luna Lauren Velez). While this movie is rated-PG, but search the terms “Miles Morales mom” on Twitter, and you’ll enter a world of R-rated lust.
Before we dive into this, a quick disclaimer: Though I am writing this piece about the online horniness for Rio Morales, I must distance myself from the noise. She is a beautiful woman, but my reporting is impartial. I am not for or against the attraction towards Rio Morales.
Now, why are people into a cartoon character? I can’t answer that. But she is gorgeously animated, with an admirable side braid that stays perfectly in place, even as it gracefully unravels. She is patient with Miles, who is hiding his superhero lifestyle from his parents. She throws a big party for her husband, the newly promoted police captain Jeff Morales (Brian Tyree Henry), a festivity we’d probably all enjoy. Rio is the dream wife and mom!
Let’s not beat around the bush, though. Rio is animated with some curves. Her character design follows suit with pretty much every other animated mom that comes to mind. Lois Griffin of Family Guy started the trend with tight khakis on a curvaceous bod—and Marge Simpson has an hourglass figure too. Why does every character designer include a mom with such an enviable figure? This has got to stop.
Maybe they just have natural birthing hips. The most notable hot cartoon mom is, of course, Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) of The Incredibles. Fanart for Mrs. Incredible is everywhere. And who could forget that daring (if insulting) New Yorker review of The Incredibles 2, which featured an entire paragraph lusting after the character and her big badonk. The appreciation, if one could call it that, of Miles’ mom feels a bit kinder to the character than that—not as gross as the idea of a critic pleasuring himself in a theater.
Still, part of this trend is thanks to the animators and character designers, who seem to have a stock “mom figure” at the ready for each new animated film. The Lorax has been trending on TikTok thanks to some bizarre dances in the movie—which, upon rewatch, also features a vespa-riding, busty mom (Jenny Slate). Even the pig mom from Sing (Reese Witherspoon) slips into a spandex suit to show off her hourglass shape as she performs on stage. What the hell is going on?
Some folks have taken a more pure stance on Miles’ mom, simply highlighting how great of a matriarch she is. How sweet! How kind! How non-chaotic! Sometimes, it’s nice to recognize fictional mothers just for being moms, rather than their appearance.
I don’t know if this trend needs to stop. There may be no chance in getting this horny train to stop chugging along. There’s nothing wrong with a curvaceous mom, fictional or non-fictional, nor is there any shame in lusting after these ladies—keep it cool, though!—but dear lord, moms have other shapes and sizes. Perhaps we ought to include other visions of moms, at least to give Twitter the cold shower it needs.
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